Archive | February, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

26 Feb

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That Time I Surprised Myself With Awesomeness

25 Feb

Between the weather, work being busy, trying to get the house organized and packed (which I was informed that I am failing miserably at), and PMS, I think I have used up all of my excuses for not sticking to my training plan.  Instead, I have been hibernating, sleeping in, and being a lazy slob in general.

Then, I looked at the calender.  I am running a 5K in 11 days and I have yet to log enough mileage to qualify as even “mildly substantial.”  Womp, Womp.

So in the spirit of failure and un-achieved goals, I forced myself to put on warm clothes and go to the park for a run.  When I left the house, it was lightly snowing and it had just started to cover the streets and sidewalks.  The wind chill was measuring in at 19*F and I was dreading everything that was to come.  Except maybe the iced coffee I knew I would buy on my way home.

I wanted to start out nice and slow, since I feel like I always go hard and then burn out too quickly.  This was advantageous for two reasons actually – the beginning of the trail was covered in patches of ice which were disguised by mud!  Yikes!!

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I love the Bridle Trail at Schenley Park.  I love the way it slowly wraps around the side of the hill.  I love how surrounded I feel by natural beauty while at the same time being smack dab in the middle of the city.  The Bridle Trail is never crowded nor is it desolate like the rapey trail by my house.

I think it holds a special place in my heart because I have a lot of good memories here.  When I first moved to the city, I was a mess both emotionally and physically.  I remember coming here for a 5K with my roommate and walking it IN FLIP FLOPS while slightly intoxicated.  I had no idea what I was in for.  That’s so funny to me now for some reason!

Several years later, I did another 5K here – the Greenfield Glide – with some of Christina’s immediate family.  There are actually quite a few cousins missing!  Yes, this is only PART of her immediate family.  Yes, everyone is super close and we see each other all the time.  It is amazing.

Pats-Pack-2012-Greenfield-Glide

We all either walked or ran in memory of her Uncle Pat:  a marathon running, Golden Gloves boxing Irishman with the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met.  I will never forget watching his widow cross the finish line last, emotionally flocked by her adoring children and grandchildren.  It brings me to tears just thinking about how powerful that moment was.

I walked that particular race because I was afraid for people to see me struggle.  I was so new to running that I didn’t even know what chip timing was, so I didn’t even have a chip on!   I laugh thinking about how Christina’s dad was breathing down our necks the whole time, power walking right behind us and challenging us not to let him pass us.  At one point I’m pretty sure he was smoking a cigarette and still managed to finish just ahead of us!  I wasn’t laughing about that 20 lbs. ago but it’s humorous now.

I think of these memories almost every time I run at Schenley and it makes my heart happy.  I must’ve spaced out at some point because I ended up missing a turn and making a wider loop than I had intended.  I ended up having to climb a MONSTER hill only to be welcomed by all of the stairs which take me up to Schenley Oval and eventually my car.

Schenley-Park-Oval-Stairs

Miss Negativity (aka the little voice in my head) was bitching HARD the whole time.  She was throwing herself on the ground and kicking her feet and stomping around and sighing and insisting that she just was not going to do the hill or the steps or any of it.  SO THERE.  Hmph.

But…I had to get back to my car.

When I got to the top of the hill, I had survived.  Surprise, surprise.  And so I made it a point to run the Oval as a sort of victory lap/middle finger to show her that I would be the one to determine where we went and how we got there thankyouverymuch.   I actually continued to run the whole way back to my car.  Who knew?  I finished strong on my so very tired legs, with a huge smile on my face, wings in my heart, and an unusual silence where Miss Negativity is usually filling up space.

I chose to become a runner because I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone.  I wanted to be active and become a healthier person.  I never could have imagined all of the things that running has given me.  Then again, running hasn’t given me anything really.  Running has proven to me that I am capable of so much more than I can imagine.  Again and again I am surprised at every one of my achievements.  And yet, I continue to improve every day.  So, really I gave this to myself.

I am at a point in my life where I honestly feel like I am the best version of myself that I have ever known – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  And you know what?  That’s a pretty awesome feeling.

Schenley-Selfie

Tortellini Soup With Chicken Meatballs

24 Feb

We got a reprieve from Arctic weather over the weekend, FINALLY!  I was craving something light and fresh, so I made some delicious, healthy soup.  Enjoy!

Tortellini Soup With Chicken Meatballs

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 32 oz. carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 9 oz. package tortellini
  • chicken meatballs
  • spinach
  • Parmesan cheese
  • pepper

My first step was to make my chicken meatballs.  You could easily use pre-packaged ones, but I had ground chicken on hand so I made mine from scratch.  I threw together 1 lb. of ground chicken, 1 egg (lightly beaten), about 1/3 cup of Panko, a little bit of Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste; then I formed them into balls and bake them for about 10 minutes at 400*F.  I flipped them over and baked them for another 10 minutes.

Baked-Healthy-Chicken-Meatballs

Next, I browned up my garlic and shallots for just a few minutes in some olive oil.

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Then, I added the carton of chicken broth and about a half cup of water and brought everything to a boil.

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I don’t even know why I’m including a picture of just the broth, but here you go!  Anyway, once the water was boiling I added in the tortellini and cooked them according to the directions (I think it was about 7 minutes).  At that point, add in the chicken meatballs and as much spinach as you want (I used a ton because I love it!).  Finish with some fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan if you please!!  🙂

Healthy-Tortellini-Soup-Chicken-Meatballs


Trust me when I tell you to put some aside for a day or two – the broth is so much more flavorful.  I know that because I am eating some for lunch as we speak!

Chugging Along

17 Feb

February is flying past in the blink of eye!  Anyone else not sure where the month went?

Tax return season is usually our busy time of the year, as people love to drop off huge amounts of laundry.  When bank accounts have extra padding, our business picks up!  We are also turning the corner on baby shower season too, so the diaper service usually picks up this time of year as well.

Add to that the fact that we are renovating our new house, trying to get our current house in shape to rent, and balance about 100 other things!!  While I know running is a huge release for me, I find that sleep and cuddling with Bea Arthur has been taking priority.  Also, I’ve been rendered almost immobile from trying to move full sheets of dry wall from the sidewalk to the living room.  I’m sore under my arms and the whole way down my both sides.  So that’s fun.

There’s really no point to this post.  Just me sending out some smoke signals from my little corner of the world, letting y’all know that I’m still here!

Waiting To Exhale

10 Feb

RIP Whitney.

How do I simultaneously feel busy and accomplished but also like a lazy poop?  It’s obviously because I’m an adept multi-tasker.  Except for when I’m not.

Things seem hectic lately, exacerbated by the fact that we have been having a string of bad luck.  For example:  we closed on a new house last Friday.  We put homeowner’s insurance on the house and the next day I had the water company turn on the water.  House flooded.  Womp Womp.   Then, last night, our car key broke in half and left Christina stranded at the gas station!  Geez Louise, I feel like when we come up for air then we get hit with something else again.

Lucky for us, none of the misfortune has been major or crushingly expensive.  I had even packed up a few important things and put them in the car.  By some stroke of good luck, I forgot they were in the car so they never made it into the new house.  It all balances out, but I’m just ready to move on from this stress.

Our entire basement is packed up and in the new house all ready.  Next steps?  We bought paint for the bedrooms and hallway, the kitchen and basement are both getting fixed due to flooding, and hopefully we will be over there by the end of the month!  It is honestly all I can think about.

Which is why I can’t remember the last time I cooked a meal or put on my running shoes.  That’s not the universe’s doing, that’s on me.  I looked at the countdown app on my phone this morning and realized that I should all ready be on DAY TWO of 5K training.  Oops!  Sometimes when live gets overwhelming and stressful, I hit the snooze button on personal goals and positive behaviors.  That is counter-productive and I am committed to turning things around this week.  I am committed to exhaling.  I am letting all of the things outside of my control simply unfold as they will anyway.

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